What Is Philosophy For?

What Is Philosophy For?

From a distance, philosophy seems weird, irrelevant, boring – and yet also a little intriguing. But what are philosophers really for? The answer is contained in the word ‘philosophy’ itself: in Ancient Greek, philo means love and sophia means wisdom. Philosophers are people who are devoted to wisdom, and being wise means attempting to live – and die – well. In the pursuit of wisdom, philosophers have developed a very specific skill set: they have over the centuries become experts in many of the things that make people not very wise.

This class leads you through five key philosophers and movements. Each offers advice to help us to target the points in our lives where unwisdom bites. From how to ask the right questions, to how to deal with frustration, to how to be free, we look at Western philosophy from an appropriately practical point of view.


Our classes have been designed to give useful insights around the big themes in life. You’ll be challenged to think deeply about the issues that matter most, and provided with a space to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with other curious, open-minded individuals.

These sessions are designed by experts and taught by members of our faculty. They include a mix of lecture, conversation and group activity.  Optional homework is provided for those interested in further study.




An Introduction to The School of Life

To get an idea of what to expect from classes, workshops and events in our classroom, watch this short film. 



The School of Life
70 Marchmont Street

Concessions: we offer a 10% standard ticket price reduction on events under £50 for Students with valid ID, over-65's, un-waged and people with disabilities. To claim your discount please click here. Please note that we will check your ID for proof of eligibility on arrival at event.

Become a Friend: by becoming a Friend, you’ll enjoy a free Class from the Core Curriculum and access a host of exclusive events, from Conversation Cocktails to Philosophy Breakfasts. To find out more, visit our Membership page.

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Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers less than 10 days before the event.

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